Sunday, February 26, 2012

HappyBidDay Bonus Codes

HappyBidDay is having a promotion for extra bids which is really good if you want to stock up on some bids. Here are the codes: DOUBLE100, DOUBLE200, DOUBLE500. As the coupon codes suggest, you can double your bids when you buy these bid packs. This is only valid till the end of the month, so you should act soon if you want to bid here.
Before bidding, remember to read my post on Almost Guaranteed Wins on HBD

Quibids Vacation Package Win

The Quibids featured auction of the week was a Disney Vacation package for 4, priced at $4,000. Congratulations to the winner thomasflick!

The winner didn't seem to have put in too many bids. As you can see above, it is just 52 bids! So he spent $31.20 on the bids and won a vacation package worth $4,000. Not bad at all.

The winning strategy again seemed to have been a classic Volunteer's Dilemma for Quibids using the Bid-o-matic. Using bid-o-matic, you can see many more cases of the volunteer's dilemma in many auctions. You should therefore also know how to bid against bid-o=matic.


Just for fun, let us calculate the maximum profit for Quibids in this auction. Of course, you never know because a number of bidders use virtual bids. That being said, in my mind, there shouldn't be a great difference between the two because it isn't like voucher bids are free - you still play and win those through your real bids in most cases. Of course we are also assuming that no one exercised their Buy-Now option which is going to be rare in this kind of an auction in any case.

No. of bids placed = 15,594
Cost per bid = $0.60
Total revenue = 15,594 X 0.60 = $9,356.40
Cost of vacation package = $4000 (could be less for Quibids and most likely will be).
Profit = $5,356.40
That's not bad for a single auction.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

400,000 page views Penny Auctions Blog!

Just wanted to share with everyone, that through your support, this blog today has reached over 400,000 page views since its inception. It has always been a pleasure helping people win on penny auctions. If there are things that you want to read about, you can always shoot me a mail. Also, to get latest penny auction strategies, coupons, etc. you can always subscribe to my mailing list for free. It's 100% secure and spam-free.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What's up with 24hBids?

This is from yesterday. 24hBids announced they are closing down. Here is the mail that members received:

Hello 24hBidders,
I am very sad to say that we lost our investors at 3 PM EST today and this will force us to close down.
We ask everyone top lease use the bids that you have remaining in your account before 11 PM EST on December 23rd.
I apologize and am very sad to share this information with you all, and if you have any questions please email me (it may take me 24 hours to respond as I have a lot of work to do due to this unfortunate news.

Sincerely,
John
www.24hbids.com
That wasn't too much of a surprise all by itself. Not every penny auction becomes Quibids. However, within an hour, the mail changed and members got another mail:
Hello 24hBidders,
I´m sorry about the last email.
24hBids is not closing, but instead I am qutting my job of running it.
The investors will continue running the site as they wish.
I am leaving the office now and will not have access to my email account any more.
I will be on thebidlounge soon and make a post in the forum.

Sincerely,
John
www.24hbids.com
That was odd. Doesn't help with the confidence of the bidders and members. This is either a great time to bid there or a very terrible one. They are having a promotion this Thursday to Sunday for discounted bids, if anyone is interested. I suppose it is to stem the exodus of members scared of the previous mails.

What are your thoughts? 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who is the QuiBids Girl in QuiBids Advertisements?

The Quibids girl unmasked! She became famous because that was the first time people heard of Quibids. Unfortunately, the original advertisement of Quibids was removed from Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pn046Ms5uXs)
However, if you are wondering who that Quibids girl was, it's D'Arcy Kate Fellona. She's a model and actress, in case you are wondering!



This is because people seem to be curious about this, especially because the ad has been removed and I cannot even find it online anymore!

New QuiBids Advertising Girl

Since I wrote this post, there has been a new QuiBids Advertising girl! She replaced the original model above, D'Arcy Kate Fellona. The new model is Kari Klinkenborg. She's a model too (of course!) and has featured in several photo-shoots and even movies. Here's her IMDb profile, for instance. She's also available on Model Mayhem for work, if you want to hire her for your own projects (profile since removed).



Monday, February 20, 2012

Weird Quibids Auction

I recently wrote about a Quibids auction TRS Ballistic Premium 3 Pc. Luggage Set.  It was one of the featured Quibids auctions, and I predicted that it might not garner as many bids as other featured auctions at Quibids.

Well, now the auction has ended, and at a price of $3.05! That's a $2,250 product! It is a very rare occurrence and as such is weird by itself. However, here is something even more strange - the auction history doesn't show the names of the bidders. See the picture below.


Does this mean something very wrong occurred during the auction wherein people were unable to place their bids or things of this nature? If so, it is a serious flaw and Quibids needs to address it immediately. Perhaps they should also refund the bidders.

Did you participate in the auction? Did you see anything like this before at Quibids? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

PennyGunAuction Down Already?

PennyGunAuction, as the name suggests, is a penny auction for guns! Yea, I know, just when you thought you had seen it all in the world of niche penny auctions.

I was interested to see where they would go because there was an article about PennyGunAuction in MarketWatch. They seemed serious, with a statement "The owners of Penny Gun Auction are not just gun enthusiasts, but proud Americans and Veterans. Throughout our Nation's history, the men and women of the Armed Services have fought and died so that all Americans can enjoy certain freedoms, including the right to bear arms. We want to thank those men and women for their sacrifices. So, for every gun sold we will donate ten dollars to the Wounded Warrior Project."

It is interesting that the site currently says they are experiencing technical difficulties with accepting credit card payments. This notice was on February 13th. It has been a while but it looks like they were unable to resolve the issue.

Most penny auctions that go under face similar problems and never come back up. Is this one of those failed penny auction stories? Stay tuned

Swoopoo is back ... but as DealDash!

Swoopoo was the first penny auction site that started in UK and the whole phenomenon caught fire. Penny auctions remain popular in Europe and North America and are slowly expanding to other parts of the world. We can see a much more global penny auction marketplace thanks to what Swoopoo started.

Success story? Hardly. Swoopoo filed for bankruptcy last year. However, it looks like DealDash bought the domain Swoopoo. Swoopoo left some bad memories in penny auction bidders' minds. It looks like a gambit from DealDash, which is quite well placed itself today in the US. It would be exciting to see what the future holds. As of now, the swoopoo domain doesn't seem to have any hosting. How DealDash wants to play this would be interesting to watch. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quibids Auction: TRS Ballistic Premium 3 Pc. Luggage Set

Here is a strange Quibids featured auction for you: TRS Ballistic Premium 3 Pc. Luggage Set. Usually, Quibids just sticks to the safer options of electronics or vacation packages, but it is good to see that the site is experimenting with new products. This gives some variety and excitement to penny auctions at Quibids which can seem monotonous and uninteresting in terms of auction types.

Quibids, of course being the largest player in the penny auction market, can experiment with different products because they can more easily absorb any losses.

This product is listed at a price of $2250, so one lucky winner might get it at a far lower price. It would be interesting to see where this auction ends because I think not many people would jump on the auction and it might as well be a calm sub $100 ending auction. Of course penny auction predictions are notoriously difficult so I shouldn't try to make those and just see how the auction proceeds.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poll Results Again!

Time for another poll result!
I asked my readers how many penny auctions they have invested money in. This is a better way than looking at how many penny auctions they are a member of. Investing money in bids shows a level of commitment and seriousness. Here are the results -
None: 32 (24%)
Just one: 51 (38%)
2-4: 22 (16%)
5-7: 10 (7%)
7-10: 1 (0%)
More than 10: 17 (12%)

Do you have any poll ideas? Feel free to share!

Monday, February 13, 2012

PennyGrab Interview with Al Benyameen

PennyGrab, under Al Benyameen has grown by leaps and bounds and is one of the most popular entertainment auctions today. Although it is relatively new, it has left competitors far behind and its pace of growth has been quite amazing.

It was a pleasure interviewing Al Benyameen about PennyGrab. He has some insights into the business model in general. Whether you are an active penny auction bidder or simply an observer, he has valuable advice for you. In addition, if you ever plan to start your own penny auction, don't do so without reading this interview!

About Al Benyameen 

When I was 22, I began selling hard to find computer cables and accessories online from my garage. I worked very long days (and some nights) to keep my new business alive. With all of the hard work and long hours I was spending, I decided to put my degree in Business Administration and Economics to the test and grow.

In 2006, I expanded into Video Games. With the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2009, I was able to further expand into electronics. This opened the door for BigDeal.com to approach me, which opened my eyes to the new and fun world of Penny Auctions.

I spent night and day studying the ins and outs of the Penny Auction industry, learning it's nuances and looking at ways that I could perfect it. When BigDeal and Swoopo went under a few months later, I decided then that I could do this the right way to make PennyGrab a success.

With all the changes in the Industry in 2011 and all the consolidations of various competitors, I feel that we're poised to see a fantastic amount of growth in terms of new people jumping into the Penny Auction Universe but also in terms of innovations of models and methods and new ways to win. It will not only allow the Pros to benefit greatly, but it also gives a warm and welcoming environment for those new to the Industry.

The Interview

Sid: PennyGrab isn't a penny auction in the traditional sense, in that there is no timer. How does that work?
Al: Great question. I've found that in the traditional Penny Auctions, a certain amount of people were almost always winning. I wanted to find a way to ensure a more fair and balanced approach to not only ensure the new players could win and participate but also to reward the power bidders who play all the time. So the Daily Deal / Timerless Penny Auction model works perfectly for PennyGrab. There is not timer in most of our Penny Auctions (with the exception of our Fire Grab Auctions), but a hidden price point that the players can compete to find. Not only does it allow for a more balanced approach, it also allows those who have no experience in the Penny Auction scene to participate and discover some fantastic values.

Sid: Since there isn't a timer, how long do auctions typically last?
Al: It really depends on the auction itself and what it up for bid. Gift Cards tend to move very fast with out Blitz Feature and an average deal price point of $2.50. On larger valued items like a recent 27" iMac, things tend to go slower as the Members are not only bidding to win the item, but also these Bonus Prizes built into the auction(s), so they can last for a few weeks.

Sid: PennyGrab seems to do things contrary to "industry standards". For example, you have a chat feature that probably no other penny auction does. Why is this so?
Al: Well, I felt that community was one of the most important things missing from this industry. For the old pros to the new comers, no matter who you are, if you don't sense a commonality.. a community with people who are like you, it lets a large group of people simply sit there with no emotional attachment to those they are playing with. Friendship is one thing, but it's also to encourage our Members to help others that may be new.. or have questions or simply asking various questions... to have a venue outside of email or phone calls to our staff.. and get an honest, unbiased answer.

Sid: The timerless penny auction format is becoming popular. Do you see this as the future of the industry?
Al: I hope so! lol. Really though, what I see is a dynamic evolution. While I (and most others) seem to enjoy it, we're always keeping our eyes and ears open to new ideas. We get a ton of feedback from the Community on what they like or don't like and what they want to see adjusted or even something out of this world that's "new". The fact that auctions can end much faster without people waiting on a timer to countdown is a key point to why we believe the timerless Auctions are preferred to the masses.

Sid: How does PennyGrab differ from the several other timerless penny auctions?
Al: Two things: #1 (to me) is our Customer Service. It's something each of us here at PennyGrab pride ourselves on. While no one person or company is perfect, I really do strive to ensure our Members are happy and satisfied. #2 would be with our Bonus Prizes that are built into many of our auctions. I think it shows our Members that we appreciate your business regardless if you win a particular auction. And speaking of which, I guess I'd have to say #3... our "Buy Now" feature (which allows any current Member to purchase an item at a steep discount) without having to go through the bidding process if they choose. The Minimum they'd get off of the MSRP is 15% and we very often see things selling for over 50% off of their retail prices on the Buy Now. It's a no brainer.

Sid: PennyGrab has grown at a really steady rate and never lost support. What are you doing right?
Al: Satisfaction without a Members happiness is what? I would say it's QuiBids.. but I don't want to denegrate a competitor.

Sid: Do you think the penny auction scene is already saturated or do you think there is a good growth opportunity for the industry as a whole?
Al: Unfortunately there is a whole slew of companies out there that are scams. I don't think it's saturated per se' with the legit companies though. But I do think in the end it will be wittled down to 5 or 6 major business that keep the Customer in mind at all times... the rest... well, think GeoCities.

Sid: Who is behind the creative and fun emails that you send out?
Al: That's actually the same person who does most of the shipping, Lee who does the writing. He also moderates our chat room now and then. Jesse does the images in the Emails to liven them up a bit and get the humor across and she also does most of our Customer Service, tech support and a multitude of other things. If you've called or emailed PennyGrab for any reason, more than likely, it'll be Jesse you talk too.

Sid: PennyGrab seems to come up with several new features all the while, from bidding gifts along the way to group grab Fridays. How do you keep these up?
Al: The majority of it comes from what I've experienced in the Penny Auction scene on various sites and how I'd prefer them to be while playing. But a good portion also comes from Member feedback and from what is posted in our Chat. The Members at PennyGrab are top notch and we do our best to make them happy by giving them what they want.

Sid: Which feature on PennyGrab are you most proud of?
Al: By far, it's the Buy Now feature. To me, it shows our Members that not only can they get a great deal with or without bidding... but that we're not motivated by money.

Sid: What's the secret for a business to survive in the penny auction industry?
Al: Customer Satisfaction. If your customers aren't happy, if you're putting penny's over people, you'r going to lose and lose bad.

Sid: Tell us something about the team behind PennyGrab.
Al: We work hard, every day. I like to know that my employees are as happy and excited about PennyGrab as I am. We all share in the sweat and frustrations but we also share in thr triumphs and the little things.. like for Christmas, one of our Members sent us a box of home made cookies that we all shared. It's a team, but also a friendship and is quickly becoming a family. There's Me, Jesse, Sarah, Lee, Brian, Christina and of course Mr. Software who makes the magic happen.

Sid: What's the one advice you would give to bidders at PennyGrab?
Al: Be WISE! If you're new to this industry, watch other members, watch our tips and tricks videos. See when they bid, how often they bid and what they bid on. And of course, ASK QUESTIONS! Sure, our chat is there for community.. but it's also a resource to talk and to truly get to know your friends in a way that a forum simply can't provide.

Sid: A lot of penny auctions have shut shop shortly after starting out. Would you say that the penny auction model is no longer profitable?
Al: Absolutely not. I think the major problem the industry has had is scams and "fly by night" companies out for the bottom line. When you place the customer first and foremost, it shows in your product and to that, I think we're on the right track and we'll continue to be the most innovative Penny Auction website out there.

If you haven't already, check out PennyGrab and drop a comment about the site!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Diamond Earrings at Quibids

That's the featured auction of the week - 1/2 cttw. Diamond Earrings & Pendant Set. This is a good time for the offer, with Valentine's Day approaching. I have always argued that Quibids needs to take leadership in the penny auction sphere, being such a large and influential player. In addition, Quibids is perhaps the only penny auction which can single-handedly change the course of the industry.

This is a good sign - a diamond set is unlikely to attract as many bidders as a Macbook bundle which is usually the norm at Quibids for featured auctions of the week. Even if it isn't Apple products, it is usually some technology related items. A diamond set, however, might produce more passionate and determined bidders.

Even if Quibids doesn't make a killing off this auction, it is still a good thing as it gives bidders a chance to win something substantial without spending a ton of money on bids. Quibids, being as large a penny auction as it is, can afford to take a few losses for the bigger picture - bidder satisfaction. It would be interesting to note what price the auction ends.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

SuperBowl Specials Penny Auctions

Penny Auctions try to give some great deals before events like Christmas. This is understandable because the whole retail industry is into these. At the same time, these offer some of the best deals for consumers and penny auction bidders. Usually, you can get heavily discounted bids which reduce your overall expenditure and thus maximize your profits.

Several penny auctions are having promotions right now. Most notably, HappyBidDay has a great promotion for the SuperBowl. You get 50% off bid packs! That's right, a straight out 50% discount. This should be really helpful for serious bidders.

Of course, don't be carried away. Read my HappyBidDay winning strategies before you decide to get started on bidding, so that you know what kinds of auctions are easiest to win.

Enjoy the game!